So what DID I buy? Rather a crazy collection of things really: I nearly always buy old sewing and knitting patterns - this time was no exception...
Australian & UK Knitting Patterns rarely have copyright or other dates but "What to Knit for Baby" is probably from the 1920's and some of the patterns are hilarious - drawers, gaiters! some are a worry - "Knitted Stays" !!! though the photo shows a short sleeveless vest / singlet with long ribbon ties to go about the baby's tummy - hopefully not tight.
Child torture via knitting did not cease and possibly never will. Take a closer look at the lad on the back of the Lincoln pattern - this dates from the late 40's or early 50's. The whole outfit is knitted - shirt, shorts with belt and the tie with a panda on it!
What a dapper young gentleman!
Now some would consider this a form of torture -
An industrial strength girdle, in great condition, probably never worn.
Here is the tag - made me laugh - "Camp" ??!
However, I think Berlei may have made this girdle under license as Camp was an American Company, they developed that style of fan-lacing.
The fan lacing does make this girdle relatively quick to put on - loosen the lacing, wrap it round and do up all those hooks on the side front. Then pull on those wide tapes, trying not to think of parachutists and their rip-cords - check that you can still breathe - and tighten a little bit more!
This girdle might have been sold as a surgical support - though I've nick-named it the "Diet-No-More".
Buns of steel (quite literally as the boning is made of steel) without setting foot inside a Gym - bonus! And yes - you can sit down while wearing this thing but slouching is an impossibility.
One more detail - look at those lovely suspenders. Big, strong and functional. And now for one of my rants:
Now for some lovely little things that I bought despite the need to mend them. And these photos show them straight out of the bag - not mended, not washed, not ironed. When I've done all of that (if/when I get the time) I'll post some 'after' pictures.
A little lace boudoir cap - there is a rip in the lace on the other side and the ribbon needs replacement.
And (what I consider to be quite a 'find') this silk & lace dickie front or false blouse - American reference books call them Chemisettes and I've knitting patterns from the 1940s & 50s where they get called a Vestee.
With many old clothes you can have fun unraveling their history. I think the cotton waistband is a replacement and there were rather badly done adjustments to make the dickie front even smaller - funny little darts and shoulder seams.
Will I wear these things you ask? that girdle, lace cap, lace dickie front -
why yes, why not? I'll wear them.